Finland will join NATO ‘together’ with Sweden despite Turkish veto over ‘terrorist’ threat | World | News

Finland has insisted that it still wants to join NATO with Sweden despite a furious row between Stockholm and Turkey which is currently blocking Swedish entry to the military alliance. The two nordic states have a long history of coordinating military and jointly applied to join NATO last May following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, Turkey has blocked Swedan’s membership, accusing Stockholm of harbouring “terrorist” elements such as the Kurdish militia group the PKK and the Gülenists, a religious movement.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has suggested that the two applications could be dealt with separately.

He said: “It is a fair approach to set a difference between a problematic country and a less problematic one.”

However, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto rejected the idea insisting that Finland and Sweden would join the alliance together.

He said: “Our strong wish is still to join Nato together with Sweden.”

However, last week Mr Haavisto hinted that Helsinki could push ahead with its application by itself if Stockholm’s path to membership continued to be blocked.

He later said that his earlier remarks had been “imprecise” and have contributed to speculation that eventually Finland may push ahead by itself.

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However the Swedish government has insisted that it is unable to interfere with the decision of courts as this would undermine the rule of law.

As the row has intensified protests have been held in Sweden with an effigy of Erdogan being held upside down at one by Kurdish activists.

At another outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm a right-wing extremist burnt a copy of the Quran.